What you need to know about the new Office 365 enterprise plan, E5
Blog: Professional advantage - BPM blog
As a sales manager, I spend a lot of time talking to chief technology officers, IT managers and end users. It’s my job to identify and solve business challenges with technology.
When I ask clients about Office 365, feedback is almost always positive. They say it’s great to see their teams collaborate in new ways. They like that staff get more done with the latest Office applications. And of course, they’re happy that IT spends less time worrying about upgrades and maintenance.
These are all good things. But as Office 365 matures, I’ve noticed clients increasingly want more from their investments.
I hear things like: “Andrew, Office 365 is great. We use it every day for email, posting project updates to Yammer and calling our regional offices on Skype. So we’ve come a long way, but what else can we do with it now?”
The most popular Office 365 requests from my clients include:
- extra collaboration tools
- more personalised insights and data analysis
- tougher security and privacy measures.
But I’m not the only one paying attention. Microsoft has been listening too. It just released its most comprehensive Office 365 enterprise plan yet: Office 365 E5.
Office E5 is the first to replace traditional meeting and phone systems with Skype for Business. It also includes powerful analytics and advanced tools for preventing data threats.
If you’re keen to get more from Office 365, here are five reasons to consider an upgrade.
- Dial into online meetings from a landline phone
It’s no secret that Skype for Business is a valuable communication tool. But it only really works if all meeting attendees have a reliable internet connection. If one employee is at a construction site and another is in a remote area with no 3G, for example, you need to meet using a traditional phone conference system. This can be expensive and inconvenient.
Public switch telephone network (PSTN) conferencing changes this. With PSTN conferencing, Office 365 users can call into online meetings from landline phones. No matter where your employees are, PSTN conferencing and Office 365 keep you connected. It also means you can consolidate your conferencing systems to save money.
- Swap your legacy phone system for a cloud-based system
It may be the mobile working era, but many still use landline phones to communicate in the office.
That’s why Office 365 E5 comes with PSTN conferencing and Cloud PBX. Cloud PBX is a cloud-based replacement to traditional office phone systems. You can now have a unified voice and data platform, gaining access to an every device ring service (handset, PC, tablet and mobile) whilst saving on hand set infrastructure.
However the best news is for your remote workers, who can now be connected with their existing phone line and extension from home and remote locations (e.g. onsite, working trips, both national and international) using their computer, reducing mobile phone bills and enabling users to be more productive during airport layovers
These features aren’t yet available in Australia, but they’re coming soon. Eventually Office 365 clients will be able to either:
a. leverage existing phone plans and telecommunications contracts with a hybrid legacy and Cloud PBX solution, or
b. Enable Office 365 to manage telephony connections and infrastructure
- Host online meetings with up to 10,000 attendees
Office 365 customers already use Skype for Business to host audio, video and web meetings. Office 365 E5 extends this capability with Skype Meeting Broadcast. Skype Meeting Broadcast lets anyone broadcast a Skype for Business meeting to up to 10,000 people. This is ideal if you host public webinars, virtual town hall-style meetings or conferences.
- More powerful analytics
Analytics solutions are often request on business data – “How can I get quicker access to make decision with views on data the way I need to see them?” Clients always ask me when Microsoft plans to add extra analytics capability to Office 365 to see how their staff are using the platform. Microsoft are consistently launching new features, including its latest Office 365 admin centre, launched last month which includes a reporting feature to efficiently monitor your service, identify issues, plan support and training and best of all, report back on your investment.
Looking to use your platform to conduct your own advanced reporting and analytics? The latest enterprise plan comes with both Power BI Pro and Delve Analytics.
Power BI Pro is an advanced reporting and analytics tool that includes:
- live dashboards
- interactive reports, and
- search-based dynamic data visualisations
Delve Analytics on the other hand leverages Microsoft’s Office Graph engine and digs into individual’s and teams communications and collaboration data showing enterprise use patterns of team interactions, Office 365 application usage and workload timings (business hours v after hours) This is a great insight to help you drive productivity, collaboration and manage adoption.
Both tools give organisations greater insight into their data. Individuals can work more effectively while those at the top can make decisions based on data, not intuition.
- Advanced threat protection for emails and URLs
With almost one million new pieces of malware released every day, cyber threats are always evolving. Office 365 E5 has five layers of security to keep your data safe.
- protection against unknown malware and viruses
- real-time protection against malicious URLs
- real-time URL tracing.
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